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Making a Killing (2021) Short Film Review

★★★★


Directed by: #IsaacGarryMadden

Written by: #PeterHampford


 

A young man and his mother are elated when they discover they have won the lottery, but he is harbouring a dark secret that is dangerously close to be uncovered when the media arrive to interview him.


Making a Killing (2021) is a short British horror filmed in London and features an ordinary domestic setting of a block of flats hiding a very disturbed killer within its walls. Gus Denton appears like a completely normal, everyday man caring for his elder mother, only for the layers to be gradually stripped back to reveal the evil he is capable of.


The film is definitely not for the faint of heart once the plot thickens and terrible truths are revealed. Director Isaac Garry-Madden and writer Peter Hampford do a tremendous job at gradually building up the unsettling tension simmering throughout the short, with our introduction to the lead presenting him as a seemingly compassionate, caring individual on the phone to his mother so that they can tune in to the lottery draw together.


However, things become more grotesque during the next scene, which depicts Gus in his tiny bathroom brutally sawing off body parts from his murder victim, dumping bits in the toilet and dropping blood on the floor when he leaves the room. The visceral horror of this segment is emphasised by a lack of musical score and the clear cut sound design by Vilte Hope Marcelyte, which highlights the vicious cutting into the limb.


The gore intensifies when Gus returns to the kitchen to dish up his mother’s roast dinner, Dutch angles effectively presenting his psychotic pleasure in cutting the meat – a part of the young woman he murdered earlier. Matters become even more intense as reporters have gathered outside, desperate to get a comment from the lucky lottery winner and Gus’ mother is growing suspicious.


Andrew Goulding gives a totally convincing, chilling performance as Gus, capturing the unsettling balance between the ‘nice guy’ persona and quickly deteriorating into something frightening when he becomes desperate to hide his dark side. The sound design once again shines here, along with Victoria Brightmore’s precise editing, when Gus confesses to his mother on the other side of the door and describes how he killed the young woman, which is accompanied by gruesome sound effects and quick cuts to flashes of dark imagery.


Overall, Making a Killing is a riveting short horror with perfect pacing and a features a huge amount of talent behind and in front of the camera, a must see for those looking for an effective chiller.

 

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